Dan Turton, Mayor Ilfracombe Town Council.
I have been very proud to represent Ilfracombe since an early age, at just five I was desperate to join Ilfracombe Corps of Drums and went on to be involved for many years doing displays all over the region with the Combe Badge on my chest. My family were heavily involved in volunteering and I grew up to learn first-hand the many benefits of getting involved and helping your community. My late Mum was a nursery teacher and my father runs a business in the heart of the High Street so I got to know many Ilfracombe people.
I passed through all the schools in Ilfracombe and went straight into an accountancy practice in our town which I now manage. This means I have spent most my life in our High Street, so hopefully know a thing or two about any issues there and most of the businesses. I am lucky enough to have an awesome supportive wife Kerry, who is now the Mayoress. She owns a Home Care Business (Combe Home Care Ltd) and she shares my passion for helping our community. She led the Dementia Friendly Town project a few years ago and is passionate about caring for people and fighting for their needs. Our two children both attend the local schools and are usually found helping us at various events we have planned or clubs.
My love of sport lead me to represent Ilfracombe at Rugby, Football, Cricket and Golf and my love of volunteering meant I usually ended up on the committees or trying to help improve or run things for our community. I have been on the board of One Ilfracombe since its start, this has been pioneering doing lots of great work in our town as well as a school governor and a scout leader. I always struggled to understand why we had a lack of facilities and opportunities in our town compared to neighbouring towns so I ended up running for Council to see if I could do anything to improve these problems. I have run adult football teams and the cricket league and founded Ilfracombe Sharks Youth Rugby around ten years ago, it is a wonderful tool to give kids something positive to be involved in, giving the confidence, respect, teamwork and many new friends. I fought hard for the floodlights at the skate park and have managed to improve sporting facilities at Brimlands.
As you can see I am passionate about Ilfracombe we are very lucky to live in such a naturally beautiful place but what makes it even more special is the people who live here and their community spirit. I am involved in many great teams and I get to lead a great group of Councillors. Life can be hard and nearly everyone is affected by mental health issues but if we all watch out for each other and get involved in our community we can help make it better for all. I am very proud to be Mayor, the ultimate volunteer role within our town and I hope I can do my bit to follow the good work of those who have stood before me and hopefully push things forward for the future.